Sunday, August 12, 2012

Review: The Sweetest Dark By: Shana Abe

Title: The Sweetest Dark
Author: Shana Abe
Published: August 21st, 2012
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Goodreads Summary:

“With every fiber of my being, I yearned to be normal. To glide through my days at Iverson without incident. But I’d have to face the fact that my life was about to unfold in a very, very different way than I’d ever envisioned. Normal would become forever out of reach.”

Lora Jones has always known that she’s different. On the outside, she appears to be an ordinary sixteen-year-old girl. Yet Lora’s been keeping a heartful of secrets: She hears songs that no one else can hear, dreams vividly of smoke and flight, and lives with a mysterious voice inside her that insists she’s far more than what she seems.

England, 1915. Raised in an orphanage in a rough corner of London, Lora quickly learns to hide her unique abilities and avoid attention. Then, much to her surprise, she is selected as the new charity student at Iverson, an elite boarding school on England’s southern coast. Iverson’s eerie, gothic castle is like nothing Lora has ever seen. And the two boys she meets there will open her eyes and forever change her destiny.

Jesse is the school’s groundskeeper—a beautiful boy who recognizes Lora for who and what she truly is. Armand is a darkly handsome and arrogant aristocrat who harbors a few closely guarded secrets of his own. Both hold the answers to her past. One is the key to her future. And both will aim to win her heart. As danger descends upon Iverson, Lora must harness the powers she’s only just begun to understand, or else lose everything she dearly loves.

Filled with lush atmosphere, thrilling romance, and ancient magic, The Sweetest Dark brilliantly captures a rich historical era while unfolding an enchanting love story that defies time.

My Thoughts:

The Sweetest Dark was one of those books that I am not sure what is going to be like and then once I began reading it completely suprised me in the best way! It was such a beautiful read, Shana Abe's writing was so lyrical and beautiful I fell in love with every chapter that I read. I was intrigued with our main character Eleanore Jones, I really felt like I was in her head, I got to know her completely which made me attached to her character and her journey. 

Lora Jones was found wandering the streets of London as a young girl, sent to live in an orphanange she haunted by music and songs coming from the rocks and metals all over the world around her, not mention she has a voice that comes from inside of her that talks to her. After mentioning these things to her c haretakers, she is sent to live at Blisshaven, which a home for the mentally unstable. Growing up thinking she is crazy and being subjected to different type of treatments to cure her. Eventually her time at Blisshaven comes to an end and she becomes lucky enough to become a charity student at a rich boarding school called Iverson. Iverson is the beginning of everything for Lora, she will meet the two boys that will change her life forever, Jesse the simple groundskeeper, and Armand the dashing and proper son of the Duke. 

I don't always like love triangles in young adult books because as we all know there is an overabundance of them and they can be seen in almost every book, but I actually really enjoyed the one between Lora, Jesse, and Armand. The book was not completely focused around it and it was not overbearing and obvious, they each had something different to offer her and they both helped Lora find herself and become who she was meant to be. 

The fantasy aspect of this book was amazing! It was something I had not read about before and it really grabbed my attention, I was interested in finding out the lore and the history of it and learning all I could about Lora's abilities ( I know I am being vague but, I don't want to ruin it for you guys!) It intertwined with the lives of Armand and Jesse perfectly each of them playing a different part in her abilities. 

I loved Lora's character so much, I was disappointed when, I saw it was just a stand alone, there is so much more about this story I would love to know. Being a poor girl and having to go to a rich boarding school in London in the 1900's as you can imagine was so hard for her, she did not fit in with the rest of her classmates and it seemed that everyone looked down upon her. She had her own room alone at the top of a tower that was separate from the other girl's dorms and not nearly as nice, yet it was so fitting for her character and definitely reminded me of a princess living up at the top of a tower waiting for prince to come.

Overall, this book was an amazing read. With history and fantasy mixed together seamlessly Shana Abe has created a tale for anyone young or old to enjoy. I really believe that this story will appeal to younger and older readers alike, it didn't feel so much young adult like some of the other books do. If you enjoy historical fiction and fantasy, this one is definitely for you!

Happy Reading!

1 comment:

  1. The Sweetest Dark swept me off my feet with the sense of beauty and wonder that it instilled. I was so excited to find out more about the magic, and the characters, and the war, and and and... everything! While the pacing was more soothing than edge-of-your-seat, I found myself eager to keep reading because I didn't want to leave Lora's world. I'm so happy that I have an advanced copy of the second book so that I can dive right back in!
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